There have been a few Fell Ponies whose personalities I could do without, but the two I’m working most with at the moment make up for all the questionable ones. The title here is a shortened version of a quote by the late Mr. Henry Harrison, breeder of the Sleddale ponies. “…it’s the personality of the Fell Pony that means so much, a kind natured pony, ever eager to please and provide good company.” (1) That pretty much sums up the two I’m working with.
One of them I have just started under saddle. I’ve maybe taken a dozen short rides on him. And yet on my last one, the longest so far, you could have mistaken him for a seasoned trail pony. He barely put a foot wrong despite going places he hadn’t gone in a year and never under saddle, despite footing varying from ice to mud to dry ground, despite occasional wind gusts, despite having to walk through a mud puddle at the gate, despite his paddock mate calling to him the entire time we were gone. I gave him lots of praise at the end, and he licked and chewed for a long time. I think he enjoyed our outing, too.
The other pony is just a few days old, but he comes to me whenever he sees me, appreciates scratches in his favorite places, and accepts lessons willingly. Like the first pony, it’s motivating to work with him because he’s such a sponge for new information and experiences. It’s very rewarding.
After my last encounter with these boys, I chuckled as I thought about Mr. Harrison’s statement . I’m convinced it’s the personality of the Fell Pony that makes it so hard for so many of us to have just one. They’re addictive!
1) Harrison, Mr. Henry. January page, 2005 Fell Pony Society calendar.
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2018
There are more stories about how Fell Ponies bring joy to my life in my book What an Honor, available internationally by clicking here or on the book cover.